Apr 05 2010

Add It Up: Enhancing Math Lesson Plans With Ed-Tech

Online video games plus curriculum-based math equals an engaging educational tool.

Online video games plus curriculum-based math equals an engaging educational tool.

Children don't need much prompting to go online to play video games. This simple fact sparked our interest in tying curriculum-relevant mathematics learning to the kind of online games that students love to play.

    • Lesson Description: Students play the games Ice Ice Maybe and Bidmas Blaster at Mangahigh.com, the games-based math learning site. To play Ice Ice Maybe, students use estimation and approximation math skills to guide a floating glacier and penguins safely from glacier to glacier. Using the program, students can be challenged to find fractions, determine percentages and develop sophisticated strategies for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The game can be played at different skill levels to match a student's ability.

      Bidmas Blaster applies the game player's knowledge of brackets, indices, division, multiplication, addition and subtraction to hone their math skills and practice multiplication tables up to 12x12. Students learn to use operations in the correct order; for example, calculating exponents before multiplication. Students also are challenged to calculate square roots, cube roots and other higher­power roots. The levels are adaptive, so struggling students can adjust the game play to a gentler yet still challenging pace.

    • Subject Area: This lesson focuses on seventh-grade math and pre-algebra.

    • Curriculum Standards:The lesson meets several Tennessee state curriculum standards for grade-level expectations for numbers and operations, including the following:
      • GLE 0706.2.1: Extend understandings of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to integers
      • GLE 0706.2.2: Understand and work with the properties of and operations on the system of rational numbers
      • GLE 0706.2.4: Use ratios, rates and percents to solve single- and multistep problems in various contexts
      • GLE 0706.2.5: Understand and work with squares, cubes, square roots and cube roots

    • Resources: Tools for this lesson include the website Mangahigh (www.mangahigh.com), computers and broadband connectivity.

  • Grading Rubric: We currently use Mangahigh.com as a supplement to our core math teaching program. The e-learning website offers analytical tools that allow the educator to see in detail the usage and progress of each student. The site also offers lesson plans and homework assignment capabilities.

Teaching Tips

  • Games are a great way to get your students interested and enthusiastic about math.
  • Use healthy competition to motivate students.
  • Mangahigh offers a free 30-day trial of the product, which I'd recommend trying with your class.
<p>Andersen Ross/Getty Images</p>

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